Fewer Israelis plan to fast this Yom Kippur compared to previous years, less than half plan on praying in synagogue.
Sixty percent of Israeli Jews say they plan on fasting completely during Yom Kippur – the traditional Jewish Day of Atonement – compared to 27% of Israeli Jews who say they will not fast at all, according to a pre-holiday poll by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research.
In addition, 5% of Israeli Jews say they plan on drinking, but not eating, during the fast. Seven percent have yet to decide whether they will fast or not.
The number of Israeli Jews planning on fasting this year marks a decline from previous years. In 2000, 63% of Israeli Jews say they planned on fasting, compared to 73% who said they would fast in 1994.
The poll also found that fewer than half of Israeli Jews plan on praying in synagogue during Yom Kippur, with just 23% saying they plan to attend all Yom Kippur prayers in synagogue.
A further 19% said they planned to attend some of the prayer services in synagogue on Yom Kippur, with an additional 12% saying they would visit a synagogue during Yom Kippur only to hear the shofar, but not to pray. Thirty-nine percent of Israeli Jews said that they did not plan on going to synagogue at all during the holy day. Six percent have yet to decide.